Children tend to be needy. When our girls were too little to speak, we taught them how to use their hands to communicate their needs using sign language. I am convinced this helped discourage temper tantrums and frustration because they were able to answer questions such as, “What do you need?”
Sometimes, there were needs beyond their sign language skills. After we had been through their limited vocabulary it became apparent they were needing something they were unable to communicate. Then the guessing game would begin! I would show them different food options or toys in hopes of fulfilling their request. Occasionally, I could pacify them through distraction or actually providing what was being requested, other times only a nap would solve the problem for both of us! The ultimate goal was for them to feel satisfied they were being heard, not frustrated by their unmet needs.
Last summer, I had a conversation with Jesus concerning my own unmet needs. After expressing at length my requests and petitions, I was lovingly interrupted. Ever been interrupted by Jesus? All of a sudden, He stopped me and lifted my face towards His much like I would do with my girls when the pathway of communication was deteriorating. He asked me this simple question, “What do you need?”
The frankness of the question startled me. Afterall, I had been going on and on about what I needed and wanted. Wasn’t He listening?! With my lip somewhat protruding in a pout, I answered louder than I anticipated, “I need to know it will all be okay!!!” Shocked at my tone, I waited.
His response was quiet and gentle, “Isn’t it always?” Surprised, I sat back in my chair. This was unexpected because my petitions required a better response. I wanted specifics! My soul was open before Him and being questioned in return was not acceptable. I had used up all my sign language ability and was one sign short of a tantrum. Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly because if I had, surely there would have been a different answer.
A few moments passed and I meekly answered His question with a half-hearted, “yes.” More silence followed. Perhaps He was giving me some “nap” time to calm myself. In the stillness I realized my expressed neediness does not always mean I will receive what I want in return. Timing is key and possibly I was not ready. Try as I might when I just could not understand what my girls needed or wanted, I would give up. However, Jesus is always ready to not only listen, but He never gives up!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
More silence passed after my response. Again, I was surprised by His words, “Then that’s all you need.” I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows what I am asking, needing, and wanting even when I cannot communicate clearly. Invariably I don’t know what is best, yet He always does and has the power to provide.
What do you need, friend? Do you just need to know it’s all going to be okay? When we belong to Jesus, even the not-so-okay things can be okay because we belong to one who really does know what is best. When we acknowledge this, He’s all we truly need.
Jesus: “What do you need?” Me: “I need to know it will all be okay!!!” Jesus: “Isn’t it always?” Me: “Yes.” Jesus: “Then that’s all you need.”
Make Him all you need.
4 thoughts on “What do you need?”
Great read and good reminder!
Love this and you!
Perfect timing for me to read this thoughtfully written piece. Thank you
You are most welcome! Thank you!